Stock prices are sharply lower at midday on Wall Street.
Stock markets around the world have been seeing declines today
as concern about disappointing corporate earnings prompts investors
to take a more cautious approach.
Japan's Nikkei stock average fell for the first time in three
days, dropping nearly 7 percent.
Wachovia Corp., being bought by Wells Fargo, said it lost nearly
$24 billion in the latest quarter. Merck indicated it will slash
7,200 jobs as it reported a 28 percent drop in third-quarter
Earlier, Yahoo said it would slash 1,500 jobs while it
braces for a deep downturn likely to extend well into 2009.